faerie/faery/fairy : spelling in Australian English

Mossa

Senior Member
France French
Hi,

Context : In Australia, a kid sees a sign written "faeries" and says : "That's not how you spell 'fairies" !"

Is "faery/faeries" not a spelling used in Australia or is it just a spelling not known to kids in general ?

Thanks for your help
 
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  • Mossa

    Senior Member
    France French
    You will find your answer here:

    "A fairy (also fay, fey, faery, faerie; collectively, "fae", wee folk, good folk, people of peace, fair folk, and other euphemisms)..."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy
    I'm sorry but it doesn't answer my question. I know the different spellings in English.

    My question was : is faery/faeries a spelling not used at all in Australia or is it a spelling less known (to kids for example) in English-speaking countries ?

    Thanks
     

    Ann O'Rack

    Senior Member
    UK
    UK English
    Some writers deliberately use one of the lesser-known spellings, I suppose to make their fairies seem a bit different from "ordinary" fairies.
     
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    Mossa

    Senior Member
    France French
    As an Australian, I have only ever seen or used the spelling "fairy/fairies".
    OK, thanks. It's interesting, but it doesn't mean that this word cannot be spelled "faery" in Australian English.
    It appears to me that the spelling "faery" might be only literary, maybe used only by a certain type of authors
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Like Anno in post #7, I only ever see faeries written by folks who want their readers to think that their fairies are somehow more 'special' than ordinary common-or-bottom-of-the-garden fairies:)
     

    ShadowKeys

    New Member
    English
    Hi,

    Context : In Australia, a kid sees a sign written "faeries" and says : "That's not how you spell 'fairies" !"

    Is "faery/faeries" not a spelling used in Australia or is it just a spelling not known to kids in general ?

    Thanks for your help
    As I understand it, 'fairy' comes from Latin lore and 'faerie' comes from Gaelic lore. Fairies are pure, beautiful, playful spirits full of love (think fairies in Thumbelina or most cartoons). Faeries are mischievous tricksters and thieves (think Torchwood and Outlander). Over time, they've merged into one and become fairies with some faerie traits (think Tinkerbell). I hope this helps.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Welcome to the forum!

    A delightful but I fear rather fanciful tale:) Perhaps the supposed distinction has arisen from the developers of dungeons, dragons, wizards and other such video games/cartoons elaborating their backstories. Some support for your explanation would be of interest. The dictionaries have a more mundane story for us:

    faerie | Definition of faerie in US English by Oxford Dictionaries
    Late 16th century (introduced by Spenser): pseudo-archaic variant of fairy.
    Fairy definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
    Word origin of 'fairy' C14: from Old French faerie fairyland, from feiefairy, from Latin Fāta the Fates; see fate, fay1
    The American Heritage Dictionary entry: faerie
    [Middle English faierie, fairie; see FAIRY.]

    The American Heritage Dictionary entry: FAIRY Middle English fairie, fairyland, enchanted being, from Old French faerie, from fae, fairy, fromVulgar Latin *Fāta, goddess of fate, from Latin fāta, the Fates, pl. of fātum, fate;
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    'faerie' comes from Gaelic lore
    To keep things as "English Only" as I can,
    sidhe | Origin and history of sidhe by Online Etymology Dictionary
    banshee (n.)
    in Irish folklore, a type of female fairy believed to foretell deaths by singing in a mournful, unearthly voice, 1771, from phonetic spelling of Irish bean sidhe"female of the Elves," from bean "woman" (from PIE root *gwen- "woman") + Irish sidhe (Gaelic sith) "fairy" or sid "fairy mound" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit"). Sidhe sometimes is confused with sithe, genitive of sith "peace."
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Faeries are mischievous tricksters and thieves (think Torchwood and Outlander).
    I'm afraid you've fallen for the propaganda of the Anti-Faery League, Shadowkeys;)

    (I persist in thinking that, in terms of 'literature', faeries are merely aerier-faerier fairies.)
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I think this is the first time I've ever seen faery/faeries. I'm used to fairy/fairies to mean the people, and Faerie to mean their home.
     
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